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Arlington automotive technology firm acquired by private equity firm

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Smith System Driver Improvement Institute Inc., a driver training and management solution provider based in Arlington, has been acquired by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Los Angeles. Founded in 1952, Smith works with fleet managers to provide training programs and content resources to change driver behaviors. Smith has trained millions of drivers in more than 100 countries through its on-road, classroom, e-learning and new technology-based training and driver improvement programs. Smith is the third investment from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Fund V LP. Tony Douglas, Smith’s chief executive officer, and his management team will retain significant ownership in the company and will continue to lead Smith. “I am very excited about partnering with LLCP as the company seeks to further strengthen its global market position and advance into its next stage of growth,” Douglas commented in a news release. “LLCP has a long history of being a value-added partner to its portfolio companies through their strategic, financial and M&A expertise, and I expect our partnership to contribute meaningfully to the continued growth of our business.” Smith System was advised by Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners manages $7 billion of institutional investment capital through private equity partnerships, various debt and leveraged loan funds. LLCP is currently making new investments through Levine Leichtman Capital Partners V LP, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners SBIC Fund LP and Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Private Capital Solutions LP. Prior investments include Santa Cruz Nutritionals, CiCi’s Pizza, Hackney Ladish, Jon Douglas Real Estate Group and Luminator Technology Group.

Betty Dillard bdillard@bizpress.net  

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